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Diversity of anurans across agricultural ponds in Argentina

Biodiversity and Conservation


We examined the anuran diversity of 31 ponds (30 located on the border of soybean cropland and one within a protected forest) in mid-western Entre Rios Province (Argentina). Moreover, each species found was characterised with respect to its vertical location. Using principal component (PCA) and canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) we quantified associations between species diversity and habitat and spatial variables. A total of 21 anuran species belonging to four families (Microhylidae, Bufonidae, Leptodactylidae and Hylidae) were detected in ponds surrounded by soybean croplands. PCA generated three principal components, which together explained variation in anuran diversity across the agricultural ponds and control site. Negative values of PC-1 described the smaller ponds with narrower hedgerow and monospecific shore vegetation. PC-2 had high loading on pond depth, and PC-3 had negative loading on air temperature. CCA showed a very strong association between the two data sets. We found all guilds related with pond area. Indeed, we found that arboreal species were recorded in large ponds with higher values of shore vegetation index and presence of wider hedgerow. Moreover, a higher number of terrestrial species was found to relate to large pond areas and greater shore vegetation diversity. Finally, aquatic species were related to pond area, shore vegetation index and depth. Anuran diversity across agricultural ponds of mid-western Entre Rios Province can be affected by local habitat factors such as reduction in pond size and depth, shore vegetation richness, width of hedgerow and air temperatures. Management of anurans to reverse recent declines will require defining high-quality habitat for individual species or group of species, followed by efforts to retain or restore these aquatic habitat. The maintenance of shore vegetation of ponds and hedgerows may increases the number of species and diversity of anurans within agricultural landscapes.

Author(s): Peltzer, PM; Lajmanovich, RC; Attademo, AM; Beltzer, AH

Journal: Biodiversity and Conservation

Year: 2006